• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Bak Ku Teh (Pork Rib Tea Soup)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Soups

 Ingredients List

  • 1 lb Pork back ribs, chopped
  • -into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 lg Clove garlic, crushed
  • 6 c Water
  • 1 Stick cinnamon
  • 3 Whole star anise
  • 1 ts Whole white peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 ts Sugar
  • 3 ts Salt
  • 3 tb Dark soy sauce, or to taste


2 tb Crisp Fried Shallot Flakes
Soy sauce and thinly
-sliced red chiles for
2 Chinese crullers, sliced
Steamed white rice

I think the only "Singaporean" dish I have is one for a curried
noodle dish known as Singapore Noodles every where in Asian except
Singapore where they never seem to have heard of it. Stay tuned
though. I'll see what I can come up with.

Well, it's a little later and we're in luck! I found three Singapore
recipes in Joyce Jue's "Asian Appetizers". Here's da foist...

Although most Asian lunches and dinners include a soup, there are
certain soups which are served as a snack or even for breakfast. In
Singapore, one of my favorite ways to start a day is to trek over to
a hawker's stall and have a bowl of pork rib "tea" (actually a clear
soup tinted with soy sauce). It comes with Chinese crullers for
dunking, and a strong black tea which I think of as the "espresso" of
teas. This recipe comes from the Straits Cafe in San Francisco. The
crullers, baguette-shaped fried savory pastries, may be purchased at
better Asian markets.

1. Combine the pork, garlic, and water in a large saucepan; bring to
a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Skim and discard the scum from the
surface. Add the cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, sugar, salt, and
soy sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pork is
tender, about 45 minutes. Discard the excess fat from the soup
before serving.

2. Serve the soup in deep bowls with 3 to 4 rib pieces per serving
and shallot flakes scattered over the top. Combine soy sauce and
chiles to taste in small bowls as a dipping sauce for the ribs.
Serve with cruller slices for dunking into the broth, and a bowl of
rice on the side.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Cut 8 shallots or garlic cloves crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices;
you should have 3/4 cup of slices. The slices must all be of equal
thickness to assure even cooking. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil to
300F in a preheated wok, saucepan, or skillet. Add the slices and
fry slowly for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. They
should be completely dry with no remaining moisture. Remove with a
fine strainer and drain on paper towels. When cool, store in an
airtight container. The flakes will keep for several weeks. Makes
about 1/2 cup.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

NOTE: The flavored oil can be strained and used for stir-frying.

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